These adorable jelly bean flower cupcakes are made in just a few minutes with either a homemade vanilla cupcake or a box mix plus some colorful jelly beans! They’re perfect for any spring occasion from Easter to Earth Day or even a fun Mother’s Day dessert!
A couple of years after I started my blog, I did a project with Jelly Belly where they wanted me to create some party ideas using jelly beans.
And one of those ideas was these easy jelly bean cupcakes! Because it’s not spring without flowers (and jelly beans) right?
I’m finally getting around to sharing the full recipe for these springy cupcakes, just in time for Earth Day in a few days! You know I love easy recipes and this one is about as easy they come!
They’re perfect for enjoying a little treat after you go out and plant some flowers, do a little recycling, or even just one of these fun Earth Day worksheets! And if you’d prefer something other than cupcakes, these flower cookies are great too!
They’d also be great for baby showers, especially spring themed baby showers!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Versatile – my favorite thing about these cupcakes is that you can just change out the color and the design of the jelly beans to make them match any theme or to just create an entire cupcake bouquet!
- Delicious – I used a homemade vanilla cupcake recipe for these flower cupcakes that’s light, fluffy, and delicious. You could also use a box mix but they won’t be quite as good as homemade!
- Kid-friendly – grab some jelly beans and let kids help decorate their own flowers while you talk about the importance of flowers, bees, and taking care of the Earth!
- Butter – make sure that you’re using unsalted butter that’s nice and soft. I like to take it out of the fridge for at least an hour before I’m going to make the cupcake batter so that it’s at room temperature when I’m ready to bake.
- Almond extract – I personally love the addition of the almond extract in these but if you need something with no nuts or don’t like the flavor, you can just omit the almond extract completely.
- Jelly beans – you can use whatever kind of jelly beans you like, but I typically prefer ones that you know the colors you’re going to get like Jelly Belly or Starbust. I’ve used both before!
- Milk – you can also use heavy cream if you prefer, you may just not need quite as much as the milk.
All of these ingredients other than the jelly beans are to make homemade vanilla cupcakes with a vanilla buttercream since that’s my preference for these cupcakes.
If you’d prefer to use boxed cake mix and a tub of frosting, you can totally do that as well. They won’t taste as good, but they’re still be adorable. You could even use chocolate cupcakes and chocolate frosting if you prefer, the flower part is just about the decorating!
How to Make Flower Cupcakes
I’ve included step by step instructions for how to make my homemade vanilla cupcakes and a vanilla buttercream here as well as how to turn them into flower cupcakes. If you’re planning to use a white cake mix (or any type of cupcake that’s pre-made), go ahead and just skip to the decorating portion!
1 – Make Vanilla Cupcakes
Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two muffin tins (24 total) with paper cupcake liners.
Add milk, egg whites, vanilla extract, almond extract, baking powder, sugar, and flour in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix until ingredients are well combined.
You can also use a hand mixer and a large bowl if you don’t have a stand mixer (or don’t want to wash the bowl).
Now add the softened butter and mix just until incorporated on low speed so you don’t over mix. Butter should be well-incorporated into the cupcake batter.
Pour batter into prepared muffin tins and bake for 16-18 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before decorating.
2 – Make the Frosting
While the cupcakes are cooling on a wire rack, prepare the vanilla buttercream by beating the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. It should also turn a little lighter color.
Add the powdered sugar a little at time, mixing after each addition, until all powdered sugar is mixed in. Mix in the vanilla extract.
Next, add 1 tablespoon of milk and beat well. If needed, add a little more milk until buttercream is a good consistency for spreading.
3 – Decorate the Cupcakes
Add the buttercream frosting to a piping bag or icing bag with the corner cut off.
Pipe or spread a single layer of frosting to the top of each cupcake (once cooled), smoothing it around with a frosting spatula or the back of a spoon.
Add two jellybeans of the same color to the center of the cupcake to make the center of the flower.
Then make the first layer of petals around the center by adding one color of jelly beans all the way around the center.
Repeat with another layer (or leave it with just one layer) of the same color or a different color depending on what type of cupcake you’re looking for to create your second row of petals.
Continue to frost the cupcakes and decorate with different flower designs and colors until you’ve decorated all 24 of the cupcakes. If you run out of jelly beans, you can always just serve cupcakes with sprinkle as well!
Serve and enjoy your fun treat! Kids will love picking off the jelly beans one by one on these flower cupcakes and adults will love the gourmet flavor!
Lightly pat the bottom of the cupcake pan on the counter before putting it in the preheated oven to help the cupcakes bake more evenly.
Sort your jelly beans by color to figure out your cupcake designs before you just start putting them on the flowers. You want to make sure you have enough of the colors before you go at it.
Make a pull-a-part flower cupcake bouquet by placing a bunch of these completed flower cupcakes in a circle on the top of a baking sheet. Then frost some of your cupcakes with just regular green frosting and shape them as the bouquet stem for a really pretty flower cake!
Store leftover cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.
Freeze unfrosted cupcakes in a freezer safe bag or container for up to six months. Thaw and frost before serving.
The number of jelly beans can change a bit depending on how far apart your put your jelly beans, how big the cupcake tops are, etc. On the majority of my cupcakes I used two jelly beans for the center and 24-26 of another color of jelly bean for the outer petal layers.
More Easy Cupcake Recipes
If you like these flower cupcakes, you have to try these other cute cupcakes!
- Grinch cupcakes – pound cake cupcakes get topped with a Grinch inspired hat for the greenest cupcakes ever!
- Banana pudding cupcakes – a vanilla cupcake gets filled with banana pudding and topped with Vanilla wafers and homemade whipped cream frosting!
- Bunny cupcakes – if you’re looking for Easter cupcakes, these ones are the most adorable around!
- Green velvet cupcakes – fun surprise cupcakes that are perfect for a treasure hunt or St. Patrick’s Day!
- Pumpkin cupcakes with cake mix – these 3-ingredient pumpkin cupcakes are moist, flavorful, and delicious!
- 1 cup whole milk
- 6 large egg whites
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp almond extract
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1 ¾ cups sugar
- 2 ¼ cups flour
- ¾ cup unsalted butter (softened)
Vanilla Buttercream and decoration
- ½ cup salted butter (softened)
- 1 lbs powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-2 TBS whole milk
- 2 lbs jelly beans approximately 625 jelly beans
- Add milk, egg whites, vanilla extract, almond flavoring, baking powder, sugar and flour in a stand mixer and mix until ingredients are well combined.1 cup whole milk, 6 large egg whites, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 tsp almond extract, 4 tsp baking powder, 1 3/4 cups sugar, 2 1/4 cups flour
- Add the softened butter and mix just until incorporated. Butter pieces should be pea-sized.3/4 cup unsalted butter
- Pour batter into prepared muffin tins and bake for 16-18 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before decorating.
Vanilla Buttercream and decoration
- While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the buttercream by beating the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, then add the vanilla and mix.1/2 cup salted butter, 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Add the powdered sugar a little at a time, mixing after each addition, until all powdered sugar is well mixed in.1 lbs powdered sugar
- Add 1 tablespoon of milk and beat well. If needed, add a little more milk until buttercream is a good consistency for spreading or piping1-2 TBS whole milk
- Pipe or spread buttercream on the cooled cupcakes, then add two jellybeans to the center of the cupcake. Using different colored jelly beans than the center, make a circle around the center jelly beans then repeat with a larger circle around that one until the top of the cupcake is covered.2 lbs jelly beans